We have today received the following notice from Richmond Council regarding the invoice you have been sent for your allotment rent.
“Due to the implementation of a new process for generating annual invoices, a technical error resulted in the rents charged to concessionary plot holders and standard plot holders being reversed. To resolve, credit notes will be raised to cancel all invoices issued on 1st October 2020 and revised invoices with the correct charges will be issued during the w/c 12th October. Plot holders who are ‘Out of Borough’ are not affected.”
Throughout the summer months, the sunflower population on BHAS plots has been impressive with some absolutely stunning displays. It’s the perfect time, given this week’s wet weather, to revisit some of the impressive yellow giants seen on the East Sheen allotments.
The 2020 Sunflower Competition was originally intended to be a new addition to the BHAS Annual Show traditionally held in September, adding two categories for height and biggest seed head; to mark the new categories, in March, Mongolian Giant sunflower seeds were donated to the Trading Shed by Dino Franz from Hertford 26 and offered for free until they were all claimed.
Due to COVID-19, the Annual Show in September did not go forward, but a virtual growing competition was organised for a bit of lockdown fun.
Entries were submitted through an online form from mid-August through the end of September. Without any further ado, the results are below.
The 2020 Sunflower Competition winners
Tallest Sunflower Plant
Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant.
🌻 Winner: Susan Borrett, Triangle 8A – 3960mm tall
🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 3720mm tall
Biggest Sunflower Head
Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included.
🌻 Winner: Juan Ramlill, Pavillion 6b – 400mm in diameter
🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 370mm in diameter
Thanks to everyone for the beautiful display of sunflowers on our plots and your entries; congratulations to the winners. I think we can agree it was a close competition and fun distraction during lockdown and attracted countless beneficial pollinators and bugs to our plots.
The BHAS Committee looks forward to seeing next years’ sunflowers!
The Richmond Council released their newsletter this week and announced that, on Sunday 14 April, they will be hosting a compost giveaway at Holly Road car park in Twickenham. The giveaway runs from 11:00 to 15:00 or until compost is gone.
Each household can take two bags of compost home for free and small electrical items no longer needed can also be recycled.
The facilities team from the Council will be turning the mains water supply back on week commencing 18 March 2019. Please let us know if you see any leaking stand pipes so they can be reported and fixed.
At the cabinet meeting on Thursday, 14 February 2019, Richmond Council decided that all bonfires on allotments will be banned from 30 April 2019. The Borough of Richmond Allotments Group (BRAG) will be making a submission through official channels to have this decision reviewed and BHAS Allotments has representation in BRAG.
An allotment bonfire ban will impact plotholders who would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove non-compostable material from the allotments, including those who are elderly, do not own cars or live in flats. We would like to ask our East Sheen Allotment plotholders to contact their councillors if they do not agree with this decision. Councillors for each area can be found by going to the Council website.
There is also a petition set up by a plotholder on the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) website enabling individuals to register their support for overturning the ban. The more who sign up to this, the stronger the case will be to review the decision. Follow this link to access the petition.
Open Day is a way for our community to wander around the allotments and get inspiration for your own plot or garden as well as socialise with our allotment community. Activities for kids are in the works, so it’s a great family afternoon.
We will be selling afternoon teas so come hungry!
In preparation for the day, you can also help the BHAS Allotment Society by:
planting seeds to sell at the plant sale, and
volunteering to help on the day.
If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact us!
Each month we are getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For October, we have been chatting to Pam Islip who is at plot 36 at the Priory allotment site.
How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?
For about 25 years.
What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?
Still harvesting tomatoes, weeding, watering, general tidying up, cutting the grass, shortly be sowing broad beans* (Aquadulce Claudia).
What crop has done well this year?
Tomatoes, courgettes, mixed lettuce, French beans (green, yellow and purple), aubergines.
What are you planning to grow next season?
Far too much but I’m very popular with my neighbours!
What’s your favourite recipe to make with your harvest?
Griddled Courgette with Tzatziki
For the courgette
Slice courgette lengthways about ½cm
Rub olive oil onto both sides
Place onto hot griddle pan (makes nice brown stripes if you press it down occasionally) for about 4 mins
Turn and do the same for the other side
For the tzatziki
Grate a small cucumber into a clean tea towel
Squeeze until lots of liquid removed
Place in a bowl and add 2 crushed garlic cloves, salt, lots of thinly sliced mint leaves and Greek yoghourt. Add it bit by bit until you get the consistency you want.
And given how many tomatoes I grew this year, I always serve with tomatoes.
In addition to gardening of course, do you have any other hobbies or skills?
Hiking, bird watching, opera, fungi, art exhibitions, British Museum/British Library/V&A exhibitions and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m always taking exotic adventure holidays as I love travelling.
*Here is my tip for growing broad beans
I don’t spray my crops as there’s really no need with careful management. When the black fly appear (as they most certainly will) there’s no need to pinch out the tops. Every couple of days (or every day if you can) use the hose and your finger tips to squish the black fly and wash them off. After a short time, they will fail to reappear and because you’ve been watering well, your beans will have benefitted and will grow high.
Our thanks to Pam for taking the time to answer our questions this month and provide a look into her allotment world. If you’d like to be interviewed for next month’s newsletter, please contact us!